In a big blow to automobile firms, the Supreme Court today banned sale and registration of vehicles, which are not BS-IV compliant, in India from April 1 when the new emission norms come into force.
Observing that health of the people is far, far more important than the commercial interests of the manufacturers, the apex court said that the makers of such vehicles have declined to take sufficient proactive steps despite being fully aware that the firms would be required to manufacture only BS-IV compliant vehicles from April 1, 2017.
The court also prohibited registration of vehicles, which do not meet Bharat Stage-IV emission standards, from April 1 except on a proof that such a vehicle was sold on or before March 31.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had earlier informed the apex court that companies were holding stock of around 8.24 lakh vehicles, which are not BS-IV compliant, including 96,000 commercial vehicles, over six lakh two-wheelers and around 40,000 three-wheelers.
Reacting to the court’s order banning BS-III vehicles, SIAM termed it as frustrating, saying the existing law allows sale of these vehicles and this fact was ignored.
Green bodies lauded the court’s decision, terming it as an acknowledgement of the public health crisis and a step in right direction towards fighting air pollution.
Environment experts said the transition was critical as the movement from BS-III to BS-IV could lead to substantial reduction in particulate matter emission.